Cablegate: Nicaragua: Letter to Ustr Schwab From Trade
DE RUEHMU #2383/01 2991541
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261541Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8015
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 4023
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS MANAGUA 002383
DEPT FOR WHA/CEN, EB/TPP
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USTR
DEPT OF AGRICULTURE FOR USDA/OIT AND USDA/COTS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR WTO NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: LETTER TO USTR SCHWAB FROM TRADE
1. (U) On October 19, the Embassy received a letter in
Spanish dated October 16 and addressed to U.S. Trade
Representative Susan Schwab from the Minister of Trade,
Industry, and Development Alejandro Arguello. We offer the
following English translation to speed communication while we
forward the original to USTR. We draw attention to
Arguello,s reference to U.S. subsidies on peanuts, which we
explain further in Paragraph 3.
2. (SBU) Begin informal translation of text.
Susan C. Schwab
Executive Office of the President
The United States Trade Representative
Washington, D.C. 20508
United States of America
Dear Ms. Schwab:
I have the pleasure of writing to you in reference to your
recent communication, where you presented the U.S. commitment
put forth by President Bush at the General Assembly this past
September and shared some ideas about how to contribute to
the success of Doha Development Agenda negotiations.
In this respect, Nicaragua hopes that multilateral trade
continues to contribute to the economic growth, sustainable
development, and improvement in the standard of living of WTO
member countries. This is the reason why we expect and trust
that Doha Development Round negotiations will arrive at a
happy conclusion, according to the mandate set forth in the
WTO Ministerial Declaration of November 2001.
Nicaragua, as a small economy and according to its level of
development, is in an excellent position to contribute
towards achieving a satisfactory outcome of trade
negotiations for all. For this reason, all countries must
detail flexibilities in their negotiating positions, trusting
like you, that this will result in mutual understanding of
key issues, with the aim of restarting talks and putting the
negotiations on a path toward achieving ambitious results.
For this reason, I am pleased to hear that the United States
stands ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies, and other
obstacles to the free flow of goods and services. Beyond
this, I share your flexible approach, and will demand that
other members adopt a similar approach.
We are convinced that the elimination of these types of
policies is crucial for Nicaragua, since it would favor an
increase in trade flows of products that currently benefit
from large state subsidies and market interventions, as in
the case of peanuts. I am sure that the elimination or
substantial decrease in such market interventions would
encourage trade between our two countries.
I reiterate the willingness of Nicaragua to work in the way
that you expressed in your letter, and hope that you are
successful in consultations, both internally and with
colleagues in other countries, so that the current break in
negotiations permits the reflection necessary for
negotiations to resume without further delay.
Without further business, I would like take this opportunity
to express to you my highest consideration and esteem.
Minister of Trade, Industry, and Development
Republic of Nicaragua
End informal translation of text.
3. (SBU) In reference to Minister Arguello,s mention of U.S.
subsidies on peanuts, we can pass along that Arguello is
clearly under pressure from local peanut producers who are
complaining bitterly about U.S. competition, particularly in
Mexico. Nicaraguan peanut producers believe they could
expand regional exports rapidly if they did not have to
compete with exports of subsidized U.S. peanuts. In recent
weeks, Arguello has raised the topic with us on more than one
occasion, saying at one point that he was considering the
possibility of filing a WTO case. We explained to him that
the issue of agricultural subsidies had to be managed within
the context of Doha Development Agenda talks, and advised him
to approach USTR separately with his concerns. This letter
may be his opening salvo.